Mindy Hammond: Who Is Richard Hammond's Wife?

By Cara Dudgeon

12th December 2019

Mindy Hammond: Who Is Richard Hammond’s Wife?

Richard Hammond might be the only Hammond that comes to mind when you hear the name, but how much do you know about his wife, Mindy Hammond?

Mindy Hammond

Image Source/ The Sun

Mindy Hammond’s background…

Amanda ‘Mindy’ Etheridge was born on July 6th, 1965 in Cheltenham.

In 2002 she married the Top Gear star and together they have two daughters, Isabella and Willow.

Mindy is a columnist for the Daily Express. Her articles often explore her home life and what happens to her family.

She was adopted…

Mindy said:

‘I grew up in Gloucestershire and I always knew that I’d been adopted.

‘I had a loving relationship with my adoptive mum but it was quite complicated and I know that she found it difficult at times.

‘I’m not knocking adoption at all, because I know that it can work fantastically, and I was very lucky because I had a great upbringing’.

Her birth mother, was 19 when she had Alana (the name she gave to Mindy when she was born). Pat disclosed:

‘It was very hard but I didn’t have a choice.

‘The father was off the scene before I even knew I was pregnant and when I asked his family for help and support I just got a door slammed in my face. So there was never any question about keeping the baby.

‘I think if it had been left to my father he may have supported me more, but my mother was a very strict Irishwoman, so I was sent off to a mother and baby home in Cheltenham’. 

Pat described her time in the mother and baby home as ‘very hard’, but admits giving Mindy up was harder:

‘Giving her up for adoption was like cutting myself open and tearing out a piece of my heart.

‘It’s something you can never, ever get over and I vividly remember the day we had to say goodbye. 

‘Then I just held her and held her and said, “I’ll always love you.”

Pat, who now has three other daughters, didn’t think that she would ever see Mindy again.

Mindy decided to track down her birth mother and write to her.

However, it wasn’t perfect as Pat had moved house:

‘One day, completely out of the blue, I got a phone call from my old neighbour saying she had a letter for me.

‘She invited me round for coffee and fetched me a brandy – saying I might need it. Well, when I read the letter, I was absolutely overjoyed. All my prayers had been answered – that one day she would find me and get in touch’.

It wasn’t all good though…

The pair first met up in Covent Garden and both admitted that the connection was there instantly.

With Mindy’s adoptive parents still alive and Pat going through a divorce, they knew that it was not the right time to rekindle their relationship, so put their reconciliation on hold.

After Mindy’s adoptive mother had died, she reached out to Pat and the pair decided now was the time to focus on their relationship.

Pat said:

‘When Mindy told me the news about her mum I knew that we could pick up where we left off’.

It wasn’t just Pat that Mindy had to meet though, she has three half-sisters: Marianne, Sara and Nicky!

Just like with Pat, Mindy had an instant connection with her sisters:

‘We went to the Cotswold Wildlife Park and it was just hilarious.

‘It was incredible, as the children just clicked and we had a whale of a time’. 

The pair spent their first Christmas together in 2017.

Mindy Hammond and her birth mother

Image Source/ Daily Express

How does she feel about Richards car crashes?..

It is no secret that Richard has been involved in numerous car accidents – one whilst filming the TV show Top Gear and one during The Grand Tour, both with Jeremy Clarkson and James May.

His car crash which happened during the filming of Top Gear happened in 2006.

Richard was testing the Vampire dragster – a jet powered car. He was driving the vehicle at RAF Elvington airfield, near York.

The car was travelling at 288mph when it crashed.

Ironically, he had already completed the course and was doing his seventh and last run to get some extra shots when it all went wrong.

The front-right tyre failed and the car flipped and rolled. He was taken in an air ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary where he was in a coma for two weeks.

Mindy discusses how she found out about the crash on the radio!

Video Source/ YouTube

What she failed to mention, was that every single day for five weeks Jeremy Clarkson messaged her a funny message to keep her going.

However, Richard admitted that he shouldn’t have divulged that information as he Clarkson would ‘look soppy’.

How the crash affected their marriage…

Richard ended up with a brain injury due to his crash.

Mindy admits that she didn’t know what to think – would he be able to walk? would he be able to have conversations? would he ever be able to do anything by himself again?

The statistics state that 75% of married people with brain injuries get divorced, but with suitable rehabilitation, the statistic lowers to 28%.

When Richard woke up from his coma and told Mindy that she wasn’t his wife, she feared the worst; Richard believed that he had in fact married a French woman.

This wasn’t the only thing different with Richard, his memory lasted no longer than ten seconds, got depression and also struggled with anger issues.

For example, Mindy recalls:

‘one summer’s afternoon, Richard turned to me and said: “Get the girls and get out of the house now.” I told him to relax, but he said, “No, just get out.” He could feel the anger welling up, and was afraid that he might not be able to control himself’.

Richard and Mindy Hammond have defied the odds by sticking together.

However, Mindy has admitted that it wasn’t plain sailing. They had to learn how to love each other again.

There was a second crash…

Just over ten years later Richard had yet another crash.

He was filming The Grand Tour with Jeremy and James, and, yet again, he was on his last run of the course when the car lost control and ran off the road.

The car rolled down the hill and landed upside down; the car burst into flames with Richard narrowly getting out in time.

Video Source/ YouTube

Both Jeremy and James were watching the crash from afar and thought that he had died.

James said he felt a:

‘blossoming, white-hot ball of pure, sickening horror forming in my heart’,

whereas Jeremy said that his:

‘knees [were] turning to jelly’.

However, he was alive and the only injuries he sustained were a few scratches and a tibial plateau fracture – meaning he had to have a metal plate and screws inserted into his leg to hold his knee up.

Speaking about the crash, Jeremy said:

Image Source/ Twitter

Where do Richard and Mindy Hammond live?..

The Hammonds main residence is in a fake castle in Herefordshire, but they also have a villa in Saint Tropez as well as an apartment in London.

It isn’t any ordinary castle as it has a moat, a high-tech security system, 10 foot iron gates as well as protective ramparts!

Mindy Hammond house

Image Source/ Drive Tribe

The family did move to Buckinghamshire, however, Richard missed country life so much.

In 2018, the house got burgled!

Police suspected that the raiders entered the house at midnight, but how exactly they did so, was baffling to them.

Many neighbours suggested that the thieves would have had to use a helicopter to enter the property. They continued by stating:

‘It would have to be a James Bond-style break-in as the place is not easy to get into’.

It’s unsure how much was taken exactly from the home, but it is believed that the Hammonds have added even more security details to their property.

Richard, Mindy and their daughters share their home with four dogs, five cats, eight horses, a donkey, a rabbit, a peacock, two goats, a flock of sheep, chickens, ducks and a turkey – named Princess!

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